Going out of town and re-energizing for the week

Last weekend, Charlie and I went with our friends to Tagaytay and did nothing but eat, drink some good wine and beer and alcohol, play The Resistance (which messed with our friendship so bad), and meet some work deadlines. The weather was so cold (Manila standard of measurement) and the place was so very beautiful. When we came back to Manila and Monday happened, I noticed that I was more focused with my work. Projects that were moving slow were getting done in the speed of light (kidding! But ideas were coming to me pretty quickly) and well, I feel motivated to design and code and finish projects in general.

I guess the city squeezes your creative juice out, and Charlie and I regretted not going out of time more often. Just for leisure, basically. Not the exhausting trips we have when we go abroad, but more like a few hour’s ride away from the city, sleeping overnight at some new place and just chilling and drinking good wine while eating good food.

Dinner with friends at Yabu: House of Katsu

seaweed appetizer

Charlie and I met up with Angelica and Kasey to have some dinner at Yabu: House of Katsu (2nd Floor Atrium, Megamall). I work in Ortigas but I didn’t even know of the restaurant until Kasey texted raving about it. After reading Carina’s blog entry about it, I became more excited to eat there! (Although funny enough, even though I “prepared” and didn’t eat much before our 8pm dinner even if I was already starving, I only managed to eat maybe a fourth of the whole set Charlie and I got. Charlie got lucky he ended up enjoying most of it, haha). Continue readingDinner with friends at Yabu: House of Katsu

Midnight Mercato

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind pigging out, but 10PM – 12MN is really not the healthiest time to go for a food-trip, unless, well, you have the metabolism of a hyperactive 10-year-old (or if you exercise regularly). Which I just obviously don’t. So I just try to watch what I eat (and how much I eat) when possible. Eating a lot so late at night is one of the biggest No’s for me.

But Gail and Ruby seemed to really look forward to trying out Midnight Mercato at the Bonifacio High Street area so I didn’t have it in me to suggest otherwise. Good thing I found those bite-sized tacos, which were creatively served in cardboard egg cases. I like tacos, and it’s Php60 for 1 box, and Php 100 for 2 boxes so I just got the set of two for us. I found some milk tea (average, not that great, but it was alright) while Gail bought a serving of white chocolate truffle cheesecake (for Php130, I think). THAT was good, too. I had a few bites before I felt like my stomach was going to throw up everything I ate.

the white chocolate cheesecake was very yummy, and affordable too!

Despite the good food though, I’m definitely not eager to have dinner at Mercato anymore. Breakfast and lunch, yes, but dinner at 10PM is still the worst time to fill your stomach with food. I wonder why they don’t just have it at around 7PM? :'(

Zao Vietnamese Bistro at Eastwood

Last Friday, I had dinner with Gail (Lles caught up later in the evening) and for some reason, the only time I get to eat Vietnamese food was when I’m with Gail. The first time was when I accompanied her to shop for clothes, and the second time was last week. We originally wanted to eat at Kogi, but because they were full, we ended up eating at the restaurant next to it: Zao Vietnamese Bistro, which was, really, not bad at all.

Crispy spring rolls, P195 at Zao Vietnamese Bistro
They had crispy spring rolls (P195), which is just one of my favorite fried food in the world!
Stuffed tofu, P185
I originally ordered stuffed tofu for myself, in my search for awesome tofu in the city, but this ended up tasting just okay for me. But definitely not my fave.

Gail and I were originally sharing the crispy spring rolls, but because I ended up loving them more than my order of tofu, I ended up finishing most of the rolls and taking out the left-over tofu. I really should remember that if I crave for tofu, I have to stick with Misato (tofu steak), or Shi Lin (Taiwanese tofu).

Zao Pho (P225)
Gail ordered Zao Pho (P225). It comes with spicy sauce on the side that you can mix with the soup but be careful, it’s really, really, spicy.

Gail ended up mixing all the spicy sauce with the soup because we didn’t think it would be that spicy. Guess who was wrong? :P

I always drink water for meals, so Gail was the one who ordered Iced Tea. They have three flavors: tamarind, lychee, and the last I forgot (lemon?) and the kind waitress let us have a taste of all of them. We both agreed tamarind tasted best! :P

In the Heights in Manila

I watched In the Heights (Manila, by Atlantis Productions) last night with Charlie and a couple of friends. The play’s about these characters living in Washington Heights — immigrants mostly, who are in a poor community but struggles to get by and dreams of moving upward.

Charlie has made me listen to the music from the original musical before, so when Angelica said Atlantis is going to make a local production of the Award-Winning musical, Charlie (and Peter) got super excited. Naturally,  I wanted to watch too (the ticket was just Php1.7k). We even kinda dressed up for the night!

I really enjoyed watching it. I don’t usually watch musicals, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love them (in the past I only had friends who got into the musicals-turned-movies so that’s what we used to sing, unlike how Charlie and Peter are more into musical productions and are also dying to watch The Book of Mormon). Last night still reminded me of Sophomore year in college, when I used to watch a lot of various plays with my blockmates for Filipino class. Which was how we watched Orfino at Zafira in UP. I’m just grateful for having friends who heard about In the Heights and wanted to watch it that I was able to go with them too.

One of the awesome things about last night is the fact that there were a couple of Ateneans singing and dancing as part of the cast. Such as Scott Pilgrim-Santos (Bibo Reyes) from the 2011 Orsem Film Scott Pilgrim-Santos Versus the World as Sonny. And people I used to just see around school — Delphine Buencamino and Regina Claravall. I’m glad they’re able to do musical productions professionally after graduation since it seems like it’s something they probably love doing, and I hope they get to perform in more shows in the future!

Although not all of them performed exemplary, everyone was at least very good. Some of them just really stood out, such as Nyoy Volante for both his acting and singing (I haven’t had the chance to watch him perform or listen to him much in the past but last night proved to me that I heard what I heard about him for a reason0n) and Felix Rivera who, for the first half of the place, I couldn’t figure out why his face looked so familiar until someone mentioned “Zefira” and I remembered thinking he was cute too, back then, haha (and with whom we had this surreal elevator-encounter after the show. Expounding on it below). Calven Millado / Kevin was a bit weak in his acting, I think.

And what is Piragua, really?  Continue readingIn the Heights in Manila

Sonic-screwdriving the Godzilla Burrito

I went with some friends to Greenhills last night where we sonic-ed the Godzilla Burrito from Ristras Mexican Grill (J. Abad Santos corner Lopez Jaena, San Juan). I’m not that big a fan of burritos (because I prefer my rice soft), but hey, I wouldn’t mind trying out a giant burrito with a couple of friends. I’d never finish one on my own though. :P

And just to show you how big it is next to a person:  Continue readingSonic-screwdriving the Godzilla Burrito

The little things in life

silly times with friends. CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW HARD IT IS NOT TO LAUGH WHILE MAKING FOOLS OF OURSELVES? look at Dan’s smile slipping. STRAIGHT FACE I CANNOT.

It’s been a job-free week (by that I mean, no freelance jobs) so I had time to do a few things with friends, some things for myself, and despite the week being low-key and not as exciting as stress-filled ones, I still enjoyed those moments I spent time with people I love. Continue readingThe little things in life

When birthdays are actually fun

I feel like I’m making up for lost time whenever I go out with my high school friends during these past few months. One of my regrets from college was always being “busy with orgstuff” that I wasn’t able to properly hang out with Gail, Lles, and Ruby. I never got to sleep over much, never got to bake with them — I never enjoyed weekends or weekdays with them, and I should have made more time for them. I’m grateful for them for a lot of things because they’ve been with me for so long, taught me so much, and never gave up on me even when I’ve been neglectful, needy, clingy, and spoiled.

Last Wednesday was Gail’s birthday, so Lles and I accompanied her to go shopping for ingredients and cooking and baking at her house in preparation for her birthday dinner. I met up with her in Katipunan then we went to Farmer’s Market to buy raw salmon and tuna. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to go there dressed up as we were, but it was only for the fish anyway.

people don’t usually camwhore at the wet market, but whatever

We met up with Lles afterwards at Rustan’s, to buy some other food and fruit from the grocery. I kept on taking pictures and documenting the whole day and at one point, I asked Lles to take a picture of  me, for my typical What-I-Wore-Today photo. But while I was asking her to take a picture, we didn’t notice that the three of us and our cart was blocking the isle and there was this guy who needed to get something from one of the shelves. So I told Lles to move, since there was a guy behind, but embarrassingly, he said we should finish taking the picture first. D: GAH IT FELT SO EMBARRASSING FOR A STRANGER TO WITNESS ONE OF MY MY PARTICULARLY SILLY-VAIN MOMENTS. And he even made a joke about it after, when we were done. And I couldn’t keep a straight face anymore afterward either.

I am such a camwhore! I was just asking Lles to take another picture so I fit more into the frame, but since I was so mortified that the guy said he was willing to wait until Lles had finished taking the picture, I didn’t mind if I didn’t fit properly into the photo anymore. 

It was funny, but made me equally self-conscious and felt exceedingly mortifying. Continue readingWhen birthdays are actually fun

The rain didn’t stop us

If Charlie hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have known there was a storm today. So apparently there is, which is why it’s been raining since last night, but that didn’t stop me and Gail from exploring and finding a new place to eat lunch. It didn’t stop me from wearing a sheer yellow top either — but with a gray blazer.

What I love about cold weather: I can wear my blazer-jackets again. I missed them!

The tricky thing with sheer tops is that they’re not really easy to wear in the Philippines. Most people are still quite conservative so no matter how much I like them when I see them on fashion blogs, I really  have to take care of how I wear them here so people won’t think I’m a slut (from experience, I know how vicious the nasty rumor mill can get). Thankfully, the rainy season means I’ll be wearing blazers more often. Sometimes they look overdressed for school, but not so much when I’m going out with friends or on dates.

The awesome thing about going out with Gail is that we both like dressing up (today she was wearing a red and black plaid blazer over a red top with black and a white polka-dotted skirt). She knows how I dress up, and going out with me means: I’m probably going to wear heels, so she can wear heels too. I love it.

We were both looking for a new place to eat so last night we decided we’d explore Maginhawa Street, at UP Village. I hitched a ride with Gail because (1) she has a car and (2) she drives way better than me. Neither of us were very familiar with Maginhawa street so it felt like the start of a new adventure, with Disney music playing in the background (that’s how we realized both of us have been singing “I Can Show You The World” with our respective siblings when we were kids, haha).

We were supposed to eat at Blacksoup Cafe at Maginhawa St., but it was closed (I guess because of the weather), so we ate at Sancho Churreira instead, which wasn’t bad either. We both ordered the same thing: pumpkin soup (which I learned to love because of Charlie) and marinara pasta, and then just shared an order of churros. I love their churros because it’s soft, not crunchy like it is in Xocolat. I guess it depends on one’s preference.  Continue readingThe rain didn’t stop us

Last summer days

It’s hard to go on a diet when you’re always eating out with your friends. Last Monday, I stayed out at Xocolat and ended up sharing grilled eggplant panini and banana toffee pie with Angelica (it was impossible to finish both meal and dessert alone). That night I had dinner with my blockmates at Kanin Club at Technohub, and as much as I wanted to keep up with my limited-rice diet, it’s ridiculous not to eat rice at the Kanin Club. It’s like saying no to Cebu Lechon. We split the bill among eleven people and that was one well-spent P170. No pictures though, because I forgot my camera. Boo.

And then today (technically, yesterday since I’m blogging past 1AM)! Today I had lunch with Gail at Kogi in Eastwood, because it’s the more affordable Korean restaurant that’s also near both our areas. I missed her a lot! The last time I saw her was when we said good-bye at the airport after we came back from Cebu. It took me more than an hour to get dressed because this time, more time was spent on deciding whether or not I was going to wear flats or heels with my outfit. The things I enjoy worrying about.  Continue readingLast summer days